Black lesbian writer/activist Aishah Shahidah Simmons and West Hollywood poet/activist Steven Reigns discuss her book on childhood sexual abuse, “Love with Accountability.”
One final “salute” to out-going U.S. President Donald Trump, including memorable moments and music by Randy Rainbow, Steam, Linda Ronstadt, Tina Turner and more.
Latvia legislates bias against queer families, Czech court rejects gay dads’ U.S. adoptions, LGBTQ Congress members activate Trump’s impeachment, Biden’s queer scorecard climbs, Canadian Catholic school district pulls LGBTQ online resources, Israel eases legal gender change and more international LGBTQ news!
Complete Program Summary and NewsWrap Transcript for the week of January 18, 2021
Unmasking Abuse and Trumpet Finale!
Program #1,712 distributed 01/18/21
Hosted this week by Greg Gordon and produced with Lucia Chappelle
NewsWrap (full transcript below): Latvian lawmakers approve a constitutional amendment defining family as based on the marriage of one man and one woman … Czech Republic lawmakers reject the adoption of Czech kids by foreign queer couples … LGBTQ lawmakers defy phone threats [we have a few, via CNN, called into the office of lead Article of Impeachment writer openly gay Rhode Island Congressman David Cicilline] to lead the second impeachment of Donald Trump … several LGBTQ people fill important posts in the incoming Biden administration … Toronto’s Roman Catholic Church School District yanks online queer student resource info based on “porn” accusations from a failed homophobic lawmaker … Israel finally decides that being transgender is not a mental illness, moving on easing legal ID changes for them … an Orthodox rabbi in Israel warns social media followers to not get vaccinated against COVID-19 because it could “turn them” into homosexuals (written by GREG GORDON, edited by LUCIA CHAPPELLE, reported this week by MICHAEL TAYLOR-GRAY and MARCOS NAJERA, produced by BRIAN DESHAZOR).
Feature: LGBTQ people are used to wearing masks to disguise sexual orientation and gender identity. There are also masks worn to hide the child sexual abuse many of us suffered. West Hollywood’s first Poet Laureate STEVEN REIGNS joins us for a conversation with Black lesbian writer and activist Aishah Shahidah Simmons (Love with Accountability), who tears both kinds of masks away.
Feature: You may have your own in mind, but here’s TWO Coordinating Producer GREG GORDON’s playlist for the globally anticipated departure of the current resident of 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue (starring Donald J. Trump, with cameos by Gerald Ford, Rudy Giuliani, Senator Susan Collins, Rep. Adam Schiff, Bob Woodward, Trump Jr. girlfriend Kimberly Guilfoyle, GA Gov. Brad Raffensperger, his lawyer Ryan Germany, Michelle Obama, Rep. Karen Bass, and President-Elect Joe Biden; with music by The Beatles, Randy Rainbow, Steam, Linda Rondstat, Tina Turner, Patty Smyth, Ray Charles, and Frank Sinatra, and a h/t to DAVE BUELL).
A summary of some of the news in or affecting global LGBTQ communities for the week ending January 16, 2021 Written by Greg Gordon, edited by Lucia Chappelle,reported this week by Michael Taylor-Gray and Marcos Najeraproduced by Brian DeShazor
Latvia’s Constitution will now specify that a family is based on marriage between one man and one woman. The Parliament passed the amendment by an almost 2-to-1 margin on January 14th.
A queer-positive November ruling by the country’s Constitutional Court prompted the move. That case involved the non-biological mother of her lesbian partner’s child being denied post-natal leave — a routine matter for heterosexual couples. The Court declared that government officials have the “obligation to protect and support” families headed by same-gender couples.
Section 110 of the Latvian Constitution will now read, “The state protects and supports marriage – a union between a man and a woman, a family based on marriage, blood relation or adoption … including the right [of a child] to grow up in a family based on a mother (woman) and father (man).”
Supporters cited the country’s “Christian values.” According to a local report, the amendment was backed by 13 Latvian religious denominations.
Opposition lawmaker Marija Golubeva criticized the amendment as a “call for discrimination” and “a mockery of the principles of a democratic state.”
The vote in the Baltic nation exemplifies a troubling wave of homophobic actions led by Poland and Hungary that have infected Eastern Europe in the past several months. Kristine Garina of the European Pride Organizers Association tweeted that, “Today’s vote in the Latvian Parliament threw us back to the times when being an openly homophobic politician was a thing to be proud of.”
Queer families took fire in the Czech Republic this week when the Constitutional Court rejected a proposal to amend adoption laws. The Prague Regional Court had suggested that Czech laws banning adoption by same-gender couples abroad or domestically fail to recognize “factual and legal reality.” Only married heterosexual couples can adopt. Same-gender Czech couples in registered partnerships have no adoption rights.
The case involved a Czech citizen and a citizen of Trinidad and Tobago who live in New Jersey. State courts there approved the gay couple’s adoption of two Czech children. The U.S.-based couple then asked a Czech district court to recognize the adoptions to fend off any legal complications that may arise when the family visits the Czech Republic.
The Constitutional Court upheld the district court’s decision that private international law does not allow the approval of actions that violate Czech law.
We Are Fair is a leading LGBTQ advocacy group in the Eastern European nation. They called the Constitutional Court decision further proof that full civil marriage should be opened to same-gender couples. A proposal to do that is currently stalled in the lower house of the Czech parliament.
[sound:] “You poked the f***in’ bear this time you little f***er. You poked the bear. Do you understand what I’m sayin’? You got 80 f***in’ million people comin’ after you, you commie little f***. If you impeach him, civil war is on, buddy.”
Phone messages like those were left for openly gay U.S. Congressman David Cicilline, lead sponsor of the single article of impeachment against U.S. President Donald Trump. Such recorded rants revealed by CNN were received by leaders of Trump’s historic second impeachment, and the handful of Republican lawmakers who supported it.
Democratic Rhode Island Representative Cicilline charged Trump with Incitement of Insurrection for fomenting the siege at the U.S. Capitol on January 6th. Out New York Congressman Mondaire Jones also participated in drafting the article.
Virtually every other LGBTQ member of the U.S. House of Representatives joined the vote for impeachment: Chris Pappas of New Hampshire, Sean Patrick Maloney and Ritchie Torres of New York, Mark Pocan of Wisconsin, Angie Craig of Minnesota, Mark Takano of California, and Sharice Davids of Kansas. All House Democrats and 10 Republicans came to a total of 232 votes recommending Trump’s removal from office in the most bipartisan impeachment in U.S. history.
Capping his obstructionist legacy as Senate Majority Leader, Kentucky Republican Mitch McConnell is refusing to allow the Constitutionally mandated trial until the day before Joe Biden is inaugurated president. McConnell then relinquishes his post to New York Democrat Chuck Schumer.
Indications now are that the Senate will conduct the impeachment trial against Trump even after he leaves office. A conviction could still deny him the chance to run for any public office again.
President-elect Biden continues to fulfill his promise to have the most diverse administration in U.S. history – and that includes a number of openly LGBTQ people.
Gautam Raghavan has been named Deputy Director of the Office of Presidential Personnel. He’ll have a key role in “identifying, recruiting and vetting more than four thousand political appointments across the federal government,” according to a press release. Raghavan is a gay Indian-American who served as the Obama administration’s LGBTQ liaison.
Another Obama administration veteran has been tapped as White House Deputy Counsel for President-elect Biden. Stuart Delery was Obama’s acting U.S. Associate Attorney General — the most senior openly LGBTQ official in the history of the U.S. Justice Department.
Reports are circulating that Biden will pick Obama’s U.S. Ambassador to Denmark Rufus Gifford as the State Department’s Chief of Protocol. He would help rebuild the diplomatic relationships that Donald Trump has all but destroyed during his four years in office. While on the job, Gifford and his husband Stephen DeVincent starred in a Danish reality TV series.
Queer D.C. cabinet member Jeff Marootian has been named Special Assistant to the President for Climate and Science Agency Personnel. Karine Jean-Pierre and Pili Tobar will be on the White House communications staff. Carlos Elizondo will be the White House Social Secretary.
Former presidential hopeful Pete Buttigieg of South Bend, Indiana has already been announced as Biden’s pick for Transportation Secretary, pending Senate approval.
Queer Canadian youth took a hit this week from the Toronto Roman Catholic Archdiocese School District. Its Board removed resources for Toronto LGBTQ students after a notoriously homophobic columnist claimed that the materials were “pornographic.” Failed Canadian politician Joe Volpe charged in his Italian-language newspaper Corriere Canadese that the LGBT YouthLine was full of “smut” and “porno paraphernalia.”
YouthLine offers free online resource information, as well as confidential peer telephone, text and chat support for two-spirit and LGBTQ youth in the province of Ontario. Its Executive Director Berkha Gupta received an email message from the School District on January 8th. It cited “inappropriate material” with a link to the article, and notified her that students in some 198 greater-Toronto area schools would no longer be able to access the site.
A School District spokesperson issued a statement a few days later stressing its support for LGBTQ students. It described the site’s unavailability as “temporary … pending engagement with YouthLine staff.”
A number of Canadian social justice groups have condemned the removal, even if it’s only temporary. They include White Ribbon Canada, P-FLAG York Region, and Italian-Canadians for Black Lives. Pride Toronto denounced the “shameful action” in a tweet, calling it “yet another example of systematic homophobia and transphobia that continues to run deep within the publicly-funded school board.”
Israel’s trans people may be allowed to change their legal gender on ID cards and other official documents even if they have not undergone gender reassignment surgery. A joint committee of the Justice and Social Services Ministries has recommended that those over the age of 18 would simply need a declaration authenticated by an attorney, or from a professional providing treatment, to get the authorization.
Trans teens aged 15 to 18 could also file the request with the backing of both parents. Welfare officials may also be asked to weigh in on the matter.
The recommendations order hospitals and healthcare facilities to have at least one staff member trained in trans awareness. Staff must use a trans person’s correct pronouns regardless of how their current official documents identify them. Unisex public facilities or permission for trans people to use gender-specific spaces that conform to their gender identity would be required.
While opposition from Orthodox Jewish and conservative Christian and Muslim lawmakers is expected, a member of the committee told Israel’s Ha’aretz newspaper that most of the recommendations are already being put into effect.
Finally, it was only a matter of time and location.
An Orthodox Jewish rabbi in Israel warned his social media followers this week against getting vaccinated for COVID-19 because it could “turn them” into homosexuals. Rabbi Daniel Asor cited specious scientific mumbo-jumbo to support his stupidity.
The rabbi also called the World Health Organization and vaccine manufacturers Pfizer and Moderna “criminal organizations.” He claimed that the virus and the vaccines made to combat it are the creation of a “malicious global government” of Freemasons, the Illuminati and, of course … Bill Gates.
© 2021 Overnight Productions (Inc.)
© 2021 Overnight Productions (Inc.)
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